Thursday, 17 May 2007

I am currently undertaking a hefty jaunt round the Edinburgh Open Mic circuit and so far, it is going pretty well. From the 7th of May to the 22nd of May, we are playing an event almost every night. It is great to just 'get out there' and see the reactions to our music - which have ranged from annoyance to glee.

It all kicked off at The Steamie on South Bridge, Monday May 7th. Our audience (not including the two bar staff and the compere) consisted of four old blokes at the bar (two of whom put their fingers in their ears once I started singing), two guys at a table in front of us squinting past us to watch the football on the big telly which we were placed in front of, and a couple of daft lasses behind us nit-nattering; at least they left after one song and gave us peace. We played seven songs to a solitary clap, from the compere. I had mixed emotions throughout - on one hand feeling dissapointed at the lack of respect we were shown, and on the other hand feeling proud that we had just knuckled down and got on with it. We resolved that regardless of what anyone else thinks, we love our music and will go out of our way to play it everywhere we can, whenever we can. I'm never gonna give up now.

From this humblest of starts, things have improved - we've been selling a CD we have made in small (but impressive given the circumstances) numbers, and there always seems to be at least 2 or 3 people who really enjoy us - I'd rather that than a whole room be indifferent. This is what we have found at a lot of the low key shows we have played - although most people ignore us and don't care, there are always a few that really do care and want to let us know too. For me it is extremely important that people enjoy our music, so it is with mixed feelings that we embark on this venture to largely indifferent audiences ...but for the few people who do enjoy us, it is worthwhile. We are trying to reach out to people and improve ourselves as musicians. I feel like we have to prove ourselves. We have to play music as much as possible because our atoms collected in a certain way that made it sound good and it is just far too easy to sit and frittle your entire life away giving nothing to no one. We played Bannermans on Sunday afternoon and there were about ten people there - we still put on the best show we could, for ourselves, for our pride, for the one drunken cunt nodding his head at the bar. We are getting the bug of being a band and we don't want to let go.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Sitting on the top deck at the back of the bus, trying to time when I should start putting my back pack on and pick up my guitar to coincide perfectly with the bus stopping at my stop. I leave it too late. I panic, and fumble around, trying to wrench the back pack over my shoulders and nearly drop my guitar falling down the bus. As I stumble awkwardly down the steps, a look of exasperation on my stupid face, a group of young girls I've had the pleasure of sitting with throughout my journey are literally ending themselves laughing. It wouldn't surprise me if they are still laughing now, all the way to bathgate.

I was on my way back from a recording session at Live Rehearsals, putting down tracks for three new songs me and Matthew plan to unveil to the world. It was a success. The songs I feel are well written, and well rehearsed. It will be great to hear them when they are finished. This is all leading towards an ideal that is a bit long winded and complicated to explain, but should become clear over the coming months. Basically we are trying to formulate a new band but are going about it in a back-to-front way. It is just the two of us still (but not for long) and we don't have a name, but I am confident things will work themselves out if we try...

The Spacial Entrepreneurs are not forgotten about. There are still things I want people to hear and see from that band. I said on our myspace that we would have alternate material and videos on the site by the end of January...but we have been too engrossed in our new project to find the passion to do that unfortunately. It will be much easier to release some retrospective work when we have already forged something new succesfully...part of the whole idea of breaking up that band was to force us to move what I am saying is, for fans of that band, there is still more to come, but there might be a little wait whilst we get our new project together...then when we are reasonably satisfied with that we can once again begin to cast our minds back...

Davey and the Dubsons (please let it be a working title!) is doing well. We are almost in a position to play live - some fine tweaking and we are there. We have recordings which we may begin to circulate soon to help gather interest in the band. Getting some people liking us will help give us some clout when it comes to booking gigs - if we can say people will come to see us then it gives us much more bargaining power. It's all about marketing these days - you're songs can be rubbish as long as you are a hard working salesman. 'Spose I'd better go get that business degree...

Friday, 9 March 2007

The thing about a haggis supper is it's a mind-set. I got a seafood curry and a pizza and a haggis supper the other night. The only thing good about the meal was the curry, and even that was basically watery powder.

The majority of the people in my workplace are 'bizarelly born' at either the end of february or the beginnings of march...they all get the same horoscope information from The Sun. There is one girl there who is Virgo and also finds astrology fascinating, flying in the face of typical Virgoan traits.

The time of chicken doesn't seem to be ending. Fairly constant, and I'm not even preventing it - I've been buying chicken and mayo 'seeded rolls' recently, at £2.20 a pop. Eating into my wages, quite literally. I visited the famous burger van again recently, and got a burger. Half way through I admitted to myself that although the onions and relish were hiding it, I knew the burger didn't actually taste of anything at all except fat, and after the second grizzly bit got stuck in my teeth, I decided it was time stop eating. The problem was I still had to chew the last bit and when it came time to swallow, all the horrible stories I've heard raced through my mind (about bones and eyes and all the rest, about it not being real) and I started boking and nearly puked in the bin next to me. They are lovely people but I won't be visiting their van again.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

From The First Person

Well it is almost a month since my last post and a lot has been happening. But first I'd like to talk about January. This was the month of chicken. I have never eaten so much chicken in one month in all my life. Chicken sandwiches, coronation chicken, chicken burgers, chicken curry, and chicken. There was a van outside of my job at the Halifax which sold chicken burgers - although my workmate said that there was probably no actual chicken in them, I still classify it as chicken.

Unfortunately, I was 'laid off' from the Halifax. A week passed with no work, and then Kelly Services, the ridiculous recruitment agency, came to the rescue and supplied me with a new job working for the NHS. My 'job' is to flick through dirty prescriptions and remove the staples. It is the most stupid 'job' I've ever had (and that's saying something) and it takes me away from the things that I love. It generates money though, which I need to for the things that I love.

The new band with Davey is going well. Currently we are going under the moniker of 'Davey and the Dubsons'. Although I thought I might be doing something different, I have predictably ended up on the guitar. Matty has predictably ended up playing drums. The surprise element though is that drumming extraordinaire Davey Dobson is playing not one, but TWO keyboards - and it sound wicked. We currently have three songs completed - I could try to describe what they sound like, and they are reminiscent of music that obviously exists, but I like to think what it really sounds like is the coming together of three very distinct minds. We are always writing new material and growing in confidence as a band - we believe what we are doing is good. We are assembling recordings and other media and are currently trying to decide on the best way of presenting this to the public, and we also have plans to play live within the next few months. It is working out as well as I could have hoped.

This year has so far has also produced a number of bootlegs, comprising of videos and audio recordings, and including bands such as Little Green Machine, Jacob Flynch, Rodent Emporium, Covert Camel, Some Young Pedro and an acoustic performance by Martin Little of the fabulous Indafusion. I would recommend all of these bands to anyone, and they can be found in the friends list on the Spacial Entrepreneurs Myspace page.

Since the end of Spacial Entrepreneurs, Matthew and I have been undecided on what to do next - we play in a lot of different styles and are always experimenting with new ideas, which is good for variety, but bad for trying to focus on a musical direction for a new band. We are trying to avoid the same approach we took with The Spacials, which was just kind of all over the place - the sound of this new band should be more defined, but it's definitely harder to do that with our personalities. We have demoed a lot of material since December of last year, so hopefully at some point a bunch of songs will appear to fit together in some sort of cohesive the meantime we must fumble in the darkness I suppose...

Friday, 19 January 2007

I have a new job. It is counting money, about ten years wages in a day. I am forced to endure Real Radio and it's horrible playlist, jingles and DJ's day in, day out. I will try to change this but it will probably end up getting me fired. My free thinking attitude always has in the past.

I have started 2007 as a working hermit. I get home from work and tuck into my food like a wee shite. Haggis supper, battered mushrooms, pizza and curry sauce for dinner tonight. The diet can start on Monday...

Jamming with Matty and Davey proved fruitful fun. We gave birth to the bare bones of three bodies and all look forward to inserting the potato filling tomorrow with equal enthusiasm. Harburn Hall is a fun place to make music in - large, cosy, remote and it's on a stage - so it won't feel as weird when there are people on the floor watching us. Maybe we will get some gigs in some groovy dance clubs once we have honed our groovy craft?

Me and Matty jammed through a new song of mine that has been inspired by my re-acquaintance with all the dregs of lowest common denominator pop shite. It's called, defiantly, 'I'm Still The Same'

Pop melodies we've all heard a thousand times before
Infiltrate your brain and turn you into a fucking bore
You want to get to the top; you sleep with some slob
Then you can sing all their demeaning little songs

But I'm still, I'm still the same
I'm still, I'm still the same

Expect to hear it on 45rpm vinyl sometime in 2009.

Written under the influence of the 'Power of the Beelgene'.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

If I don't get a grip soon I'm gonna end up looking like Halle Berry by the time I'm forty.

2006 ended with some classic gigs in the underground scene. I feel very grateful to have so many creative and overall great people around me I can call friends. I often feel marginal in this burgeoning musical mass. Although not prominent, I like to think I weave my way through, leaving particles behind that in most cases hopefully don't smell (although a fart is a useful weapon on a bus if a baby is crying).

Recently I have been delving into the archives of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It's incredible stuff - funny, intelligent and futuristic...I don't know what it says about me that I like this music so much, or if it's a good thing! It is brilliant though.

The song that got me through Christmas and New Year was 'Real Love' by The Beatles. It's actually an old John Lennon demo that the rest of the band spruced up many years later. I never actually played it, only in my head. This time during Christmas and New Year was possibly the worst period of my life. I now really know what people mean when they say they were' worried sick'. An old saying is that 'what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger'. I now know this is true.

For the second year in a row I neglected to release a Christmas Single. I'm gonna start working on this year's one now so I definitely get it sorted for this Christmas. At a rate of one chorus and verse per month, it should be an opus by then.

It seems a lot of people I know have the same New Years Resolution - to lose weight, me included. I'm a lazy cunt and since quitting smoking last year I've been eating pizza and chips for breakfast. Or onion rings. My standard fluid intake consisted of about 3 pints of full cream milk per day, graduating to organic milk. One day I was in Morrisons when I noticed that single cream was only 60 odd p for 568ml. It seemed like an indulgence but I thought "what the heck, the milk's not doing it anymore". Quickly this became double cream, with sugar stirred in. It's not even a drink anymore. So getting fit is something else to aim for...I wonder who will see it through?

Tomorrow night me and my friend and musical accomplice Matty are meeting with the legendary Davey Dobson, a fantastic drummer previously of Voice of the Mysterons fame (surely one of the best bands ever). It's to discuss a musical project, in which he won't be playing drums, but bass. On a keyboard. Possibly. Still, Matty will be playing drums and he is also amazing. What will I be doing? I have NO idea...